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Thread: Junkers

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Junkers

    This thread is NOT about those rust-bucket vehicles that you drove when you were going to school......four wheels that occasionally went around and took you to places that helped to define your life. Or something like that.

    This thread IS all about those people that you know or are aware of that collect junk, usually in an attempt to make some money. Of course, for many of those folks, their real mission is to make enough to get-by so they don't have to get a real job.

    My friend, Danny, was a junker. When he was alive he spent most mornings cruising the streets of Bowling Green, OH, looking for any type of trash that he could turn into cash. He never did figure-out that he spent more on gasoline and wear and tear on his vehicle than he gathered with his junking. Danny would spend most afternoons drinking beer, purchased from the monies he accumulated that morning.

    One of my employees is continually collecting soda pop cans and any smidgen of scrap aluminum or scrap steel he can find. He is probably doing a recycling service (read as "good deed"), although I would argue that his carbon footprint doesn't change much with continual trips to a recycling center. I know he makes continual trips because he uses the trunk of his small car as the storage location. Maybe the recycling (metal scrap) yard is on a direct route home. I don't know.

    I do know that metal prices drive junkers into action.
    _____

    I would guess that some of you have come into contact with junkers, possibly because they decide to store 3 tons of bent aluminum siding in their yard.

    Any good stories? What say you?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Scrapping is alive and well in Chicago. From my observations it seems to be mostly the domain of Mexicans. Generally they will drive up and down the alleys picking up anything they can get something for. Most seem to be on the lookout for metal of various kinds they can sell to the scrap yards. Most drive beaten up pick-up trucks that look like they're on their last legs. Of course there are also people who collect anything they can turn around and sell for a profit. Some collect aluminum cans and collect so many you wonder how they can push their shopping cart. The closest scrap yard to me is a good two miles away so I'm guessing its a lot of work for very little reward. Of course they have low overhead. A few blocks from where I live their is a used book store that seems to always be buying from these people. People throw away a lot of good stuff so I imagine that scrapping/junk collecting can be relatively lucrative.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I can respect the junkers who are indirectly helping to clean things up some times by basically picking up trash or taking things to be recycled (or reused) instead of to a landfill but it's the evil cousin of the junker whom I despise: The looter!


    For a while, the problem was becoming very bad here in the Detroit area with folks taking anything of value from abandoned and sometimes still occupied homes, churches, and businesses. Prices for copper in particular were getting so high that they would take the coiling out of an operational A.C. unit or a 100+ year-old stature from a church and melt it all down. A few of these criminals got a bit more than the bargained for when they attempted to steal the live wiring out of telephone and electric transformers and wound up in the morgue.

    Anyway, I have noticed a distinct drop in the number of reports of historic churches and other significant buildings being looted here in the past few months since the price for scrap metal and other commodities has fallen. I guess that's one positive spin-off of the decline in the economy.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Scrapping is alive and well in Chicago. From my observations it seems to be mostly the domain of Mexicans.
    Very interesting. When I was in suburban Cleveland, it was mostly African-Americans and grizzled-looking Appalachians who did most of the garbage-picking. Same thing; beat-up trucks and old station wagons loaded to the gills.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Scrap of almost any type is down to about 1/3 of what it was at this time last year.

    I can respect the junkers who are indirectly helping to clean things up some times by basically picking up trash or taking things to be recycled (or reused) instead of to a landfill but it's the evil cousin of the junker whom I despise: The looter!
    The morning after the tornado that hit Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington neighborhood back in 96, I saw the police arrest a "recycling" guy who was gathering up aluminum siding pieces off the street in the damaged area. They told him he was looting...

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